Many in the industry have been saying it for a long time and now it has been officially confirmed by the Insight Data ‘Fabricator and Installer Market Report’ – trade counters are becoming key drivers in the supply chain. The annual ‘Insight Report’ is the most comprehensive study into the UK glass and glazing market. Over 15,000 companies were interviewed and it reveals in-depth statistics and industry trends.
According to the Insight Report, “a significant shift in distribution channels is occurring across the window, door and conservatory industry. The traditional route of fabricator >> installer >> homeowner is being challenged by a rapidly growing network of trade counters.”
The report also states that “a growing number of specialist operators who neither fabricate nor install have sprung up in recent years. These businesses buy-in products in volume from a fabricator, and sell on to small installers, DIY and builders through the depot.”
A real life example of this is Northern trade counter chain Truemans. Truemans have branches in Burnley, Sheffield and Doncaster, and have grown substantially over the past 12 months.
Truemans don’t fabricate and as a result are able to focus on the customer and added value services. For instance Truemans offer comprehensive sales and marketing support, including free consumer leads and free retail brochures and drop cards, helping customers win business long after the job has finished. They also offer free packers with every order, including 120mm concrete fixings, cill screws and baypole screws if need be.
Joe Trueman, managing director of Truemans, discusses the growth in trade counters in more detail: “Part of the reason trade counters are so popular is the convenience. Installers can pick up their products at time that suits them rather than waiting for a delivery and then having to store the goods. Trade counters can offer a wider product choice. For instance we supply four PVC-u profile systems (WHS Halo Rustique and Eclipse plus Rehau S70 and Edge) which helps us appeal to a wider audience. Like Truemans, many trade counters offer a free skip facility, which is very popular with installers. It means they can get rid of old frames quickly and easily and don’t have to pay for the privilege.”
Like all very successful businesses, Truemans understand the importance of customer communication, making sure they keep customers informed at all stages of the buying cycle. Customers can track their orders online and Truemans will send text message order confirmations, showing the job reference, expected ready date and the price.
“There are lots of benefits of buying from a trade counter like Truemans and I’m not surprised the Insight Market Report has highlighted this type of business is thriving,” Joe concluded.
For more information visit www.truemanswindows.co.uk or call the Doncaster branch on 01302 322 223